Disability for Bipolar Disorder in Washington, D.C.
Financial Support to Ease Your Stress
If you or a loved one is fighting a bipolar disorder –– and the ups and downs in moods, energy and activity levels it often causes –– you’re likely not surprised that for many, bipolar can also be a real drain financially.
Consider symptoms like being easily distracted and struggling to complete a task. It’s no wonder bipolar can make it impossible to work. And when that happens, it creates a financial hardship, adding even more stress to a difficult situation.
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can make things better for you –– a lot better.
You’ll get monthly checks to help cover your needs.
Yet most people get turned down when they first apply. It’s hard proving a condition like bipolar — which can be worse on some days than others and difficult for people to see.
Mathis & Mathis Disability Advocates has helped people in the Washington, D.C., area present their medical evidence and make stronger applications for disability benefits for more than 25 years.
If a bipolar disorder is keeping you from working, get a free consultation on your case.
What Kinds of Social Security Disability Could I Receive?
If a health problem stops you from working, and is expected to last at least a year, you should apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Social Security’s two major disability benefit programs are:
— Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which provides benefits based on your work history, including how long you worked and how much you earned. It’s a form of insurance — you paid for it with Social Security taxes — meant to help when unexpected bad health disrupts your income.
–– Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is based on your financial circumstances alone. No work history is required. When you don’t have much recent work history, you qualify if your income and assets are limited. You’ll also likely qualify for Medicaid health care coverage and food assistance.
What Do I Need to Show About My Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar used to be called manic depression.
The illness is known for periods of extreme euphoria, followed by severe depression.
You may qualify for SSD if you have a history of consistent manic or depressive periods or a combination of both.
If your condition is severe enough to limit your daily activity or ability to interact with others normally, you could get benefits. If you experience recurring episodes of deteriorating mental health, you could qualify.
For the purposes of awarding disability benefits, the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” of impairments specifically lists bipolar disorder as an official condition that can qualify you for help.
In our years of handling bipolar cases, Mathis & Mathis has learned that Social Security requires you to show at least three of the following symptoms in your medical documentation:
- Risky actions without recognition of the high probability of painful consequences
- Increasing goal-based activities, like taking on new projects
- Pacing or restless busyness
- Unusually fast, frenzied speech
- Quickly changing ideas, thoughts
- Inflated self-esteem
- Decreased need for sleep
- Easy distraction
You also need to show “extreme” limitation in one of the following areas, or “marked” limitation in two of these areas:
- Concentrating and maintaining pace (ability to complete tasks)
- Adapting or managing oneself (adapting to new situations or handling practical life skills like paying bills, dressing, cooking)
- Understanding, remembering and applying information
- Interacting with others
How Do I Prove My Case?
Medical evidence, according to Social Security, is the “cornerstone” for proving your disability case. The most important evidence comes directly from medical professionals.
Social Security claims examiners are not licensed psychiatrists. They may not fully understand the limitations your disorder causes. That makes medical evidence related to your bipolar disorder even more critical.
Without the right evidence some examiners may think you’re overstating the problem just to get benefits.
What Types of Medical Evidence Do I Need?
The Blue Book says you evidence in three areas:
1) Existence of impairment, which includes “objective medical evidence”
2) Severity of impairment, covering how your condition affects your ability to work.
3) Non-medical sources, which could include testimony from family members, coworkers and others about how you handle everyday situations, how you deal with other people and how your health problem affects your ability to work.
Professional Help with Your Application Makes a Difference
Because of all the information and evidence you have to gather to show a hard-to-prove bipolar disorder, it makes sense to get a professional to help build your case.
Social Security Disability has its own separate approval system, including its own judges — all the more reason to get a representative who knows how to navigate this system.
You can find professional advocates, like those at Mathis & Mathis, who help hardworking people like you win the disability benefits you deserve and need — so you can move forward with your life.
And there’s no risk to you, because there’s no fee until you win.
To start your application, Contact us today!